Rule 5 results; Duke trade completed
The Pirates selected shortstop Josh Rodriguez with the first pick of the Rule 5 Draft. GM Neal Huntington said Rodriguez will compete to make the team as a utility infielder.
“He’s a guy that will compete to make our club as our utility guy,” Huntington said. “He has solid defense at shortstop. He can swing the bat a little bit. He can bounce around and play second, short and third. You can probably run him into the outfield. He’s a guy that’s a good addition to the organization.”
Centerfielder Bradley Chalk and catcher Travis Scott were taken in the Triple-A phase of the Draft.
Pirates farmhand Nathan Adcock was taken by the Royals with the fifth pick of the Rule 5 Draft. Pittsburgh is hopeful that Adcock will not be able to stick on Kansas City’s roster all season, which would allow the Pirates to get him back.
“He gets the ball on the ground,” Huntington said. “He has an average fastball with the ability to get groundballs and there is a chance that he’ll stick. We knew by not protecting him that there was a pretty good chance of being selected. We’re disappointed to lose him, but we couldn’t protect them all.”
Pittsburgh also acquired right-hander pitcher Cesar Valdez on Thursday morning as the player-to-be-named in the Zach Duke trade. The Pirates had to wait until after the Rule 5 Draft to finalize the acquisition since Valdez was available to be taken.
“It’s a right-hander with heavy sink,” Huntington said of Valdez. “He gets a lot of groundballs. He’s going to mix-and-match. He’s going to hit his spots. He’s a guy that we feel can help maybe out of the bottom of the rotation or use as a long man. He’s a guy to add to our depth and our competition to make our club.”
Jerry Dipoto, the Dbacks’ vice president of scouting and player development had this to say on Valdez: “Cesar obviously got an opportunity to pitch for us in the big leagues last year [and] has been a good member of our organization. Hopefully this is an opportunity for him.”
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